France

Marc Lobet – Meurtres à domicile AKA The Apartment Murders (1982)

Synopsis:
‘Based on the novel “Hotel Meuble” by Thomas Owen, this suspense thriller has a female police inspector Aurelia Maudru living in a baroque apartment house in Brussels, the site of a nasty murder. All the inspector’s neighbors are suspects in the case, and she is hard-put to ferret out the reasons for the foul deed from among the building’s strange inhabitants, including a death-obsessed undertaker and an aging photographer. As the suspense builds to the final scenes, the solution to who did it is as unusual as the residents of the building.’
– Eleanor Mannikka Read More »

Edgardo Cozarinsky – Citizen Langlois (1994)

Citizen Langlois by Edgardo Cozarinsky is an essayistic documentary about Henri Langlois, founder and head of the Cinémathèque française until his death in 1977. I recently rewatched this along with Jacques Richard’s much longer documentary (which is also on the tracker –here–) and liked it even better than the time I saw it first at the Berlin festival some years ago.
The movie mostly consists of archive footage, showing Langlois, the musée du cinéma, collaborators and famous actors and directors. The events around the Affaire Langlois in 1968 take some time here, too, but Cozarinsky succeeds in finding a different angle to focus on Langlois and cinéphilia in general. Read More »

Pierre Chenal – Crime et châtiment aka Crime and Punishment (1935)

Pierre Blanchar plays the murderer Raskolnikov, and Harry Baur is the police inspector on his trail…

Quote:
Crime et châtiment is one of the overlooked masterpieces of 1930s French cinema, an early and almost faultless adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s celebrated 1866 novel Crime and Punishment. One of the reasons for the film’s comparative obscurity is that it was released in the same year as Josef von Sternberg’s better known American adaptation which starred Peter Lorre and Edward Arnold. The French version appears to have been heavily influenced by an earlier silent adaptation Raskolnikow (1923) from the renowned German filmmaker Robert Wiene, whose best-known work – Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari (1920) – is powerfully evoked in this film’s staging of the pivotal murder scene. Read More »

Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Umiliati (2003) (DVD)

This is the sequel to the Straubs’ Operai, contain.

Excerpts from the novel Donna di Messina (1949 and 1964, 1967) by Elio Vittorini (1908-1966). Read More »

René Laloux – La planète sauvage AKA Fantastic Planet (1973)

Quote:
On a faraway planet where blue giants rule, oppressed humanoids rebel against their machine-like leaders. Read More »

Jean-Gabriel Albicocco – La fille aux yeux d’or AKA The Girl with the Golden Eyes (1961) (HD)

Synopsis:
The story follows the decadent heir Henri de Marsay, who becomes enamored of the eponymous beauty, Paquita Valdes, and plots to seduce her. He succeeds but becomes disillusioned when he discovers she is also involved with another lover and so plots to murder her. When he arrives to kill her, he discovers that she is already dead by the hand of her lover, his half-sister. She declares that Paquita came from a land where women are no more than chattels, able to be bought and used in any way. In the last lines of the story, de Marsay tells a friend that the girl has died of “something to do with the heart.” Read More »

Gaspar Noé – Enter the Void (2009)

Quote:
A French drug dealer living in Tokyo is betrayed by his best friend and killed in a drug deal. His soul, observing the repercussions of his death, seeks resurrection. Read More »